RESEARCH ARTICLE


Molecular Diagnostic Methods for Detection and Characterization of Human Noroviruses



Haifeng Chen1, *, Yuan Hu2
1 Division of Molecular Biology, Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD, USA
2 Northeast Region Laboratory, Office of Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jamaica, NY, USA


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© Chen and Hu; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Molecular Biology, Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 8301 Muirkirk Rd, Laurel, MD 20708, USA; E-mail: haifeng.chen@fda.hhs.gov


Abstract

Human noroviruses are a group of viral agents that afflict people of all age groups. The viruses are now recognized as the most common causative agent of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis and foodborne viral illness worldwide. However, they have been considered to play insignificant roles in the disease burden of acute gastroenteritis for the past decades until the recent advent of new and more sensitive molecular diagnostic methods. The availability and application of the molecular diagnostic methods have led to enhanced detection of noroviruses in clinical, food and environmental samples, significantly increasing the recognition of noroviruses as an etiologic agent of epidemic and sporadic acute gastroenteritis. This article aims to summarize recent efforts made for the development of molecular methods for the detection and characterization of human noroviruses.

Keywords: Acute gastroenteritis, etiologic agent, human noroviruses, molecular diagnostic methods.